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Time line of management thought
Definition of management
Every intelligent practicing business manager who seeks improved skills and abilities should be concerned with the knowledge and application of management theories. Yet there exists this persistent view that management theory and practice are polar opposites. This popularized notion about theory and practice either ignores or overlooks the fact that good theory underlies and improves practice.
Theories are perspectives with which people make sense of their world experiences. Formally, a theory is a coherent group of assumptions put forth to explain the relationship between two or more observable facts. John Clancy calls such perspectives "invisible powers" to emphasize several crucial uses of theories, the "unseen" ways in which we approach our world.
First, theories provide a stable focus for understanding what we experience. A theory provides criteria for determining what is relevant.
Second, theories enable us to communicate efficiently and thus move into more and more complex relationships with other people. Imagine the frustration you would encounter if, in dealing with other people, you always had to define even the most basic assumptions you make about the world m which you live!
Third, theories make it possible-indeed, challenge us-to keep learning about our world. By definition, theories have boundaries; there is only so much that can be covered by any one theory. Once we are aware of this, we are better able to ask ourselves if there are alternative ways of looking at the world (especially when our theories no longer seem to "fit" our experience) and to consider the consequences of adopting alternative beliefs. Two cases are instructive.
Looking back through the world history, we can find a lot of examples when people and scientist have been writing about how to make organizations efficient and effective—and it was even before terms such as "management" came into common usage. Management and organizations are products of their historical and social times and places. Thus, we can understand the evolution of management theory in terms of how people have worked and built labour relationships at particular times in history. Today’s management theory is the result of the interdisciplinary efforts of many people.
The Value of History:
- people who ignore the past are destined to relive it.
- a person unaware of mistakes made by others is likely to repeat them.
Why we study management history;
- develop strategic thinking;
- avoid reinventing the weel;
- see the big picture;
- improve conceptual skills;
- gain appreciating of how we got to where we are.
Environmental factors influencing management thought:
- economic influences (relate to the availability, production, and distribution of resources within a society);
- social influences (relate to the aspects of a culture that influence interpersonal relationship);
- political influences(relate to the impact of political institutions on individuals and organization);
-technological influence(relate to the advances and refinements in any of the devices that are used in conjunction with conducting business);
-global influences(related to the pressures to improve quality, productivity, and costs as organizations attempt to compete in the worldwide marker place).